- RCT Solutions has signed a MoU with Manitoba province in Canada to help explore a large– scale solar manufacturing facility
- With 10 GW annual production capacity, including a glass factory, it is touted to be the largest of its kind on completion
- The $3 billion fab is expected to produce 2 million solar panels annually, making it an export hub for the solar industry
- RCT will submit a development plan for the proposed fab with project design and site selection
Eyeing the growing demand for solar in the lucrative North American market, Canada’s Manitoba provincial government has announced plans for the world’s ‘cleanest advanced manufacturing hub’ for solar modules with 10 GW annual capacity. Germany’s RCT Solutions GmbH is on board to help set up the $3 billion project.
“The manufacturing plant will be the largest and first of its kind, combining all stages of production including a glass factory with a total annual production capacity of 10 GW, or 10,000 MW, of solar panel power when fully operational,” said RCT Founder and CEO Peter Fath.
Earlier this year, Hanwha Solutions announced plans for the ‘largest’ ingot to module PV production complex in North America with 8.4 GW capacity, to come online in 2024 (see Hanwha Solutions Planning 8.4 GW US Production Capacity).
Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Manitoba, the German company will start with project design, suitable site selection and present a development plan for the fab within an unspecified duration. Once fully ramped up, it is aimed to roll out 2 million solar panels annually.
A solar manufacturing hub of this scale will enable the North American PV market to significantly reduce its dependence on imported modules, that at present mainly come from China. The plant will also render it an export advantage, according to the project partners.
Manitoba’s Economic Development, Investment and trade Minister Jeff Wharton claimed, “This new plant will have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world, and the solar panels manufactured and exported will significantly increase Manitoba’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the province’s bottom line.”
The government will support the endeavor with federal and provincial economic stimulus programs to RCT as it promises to create 8,000 jobs.
According to local media reports from earlier this year, RCT had been pitching the 10 GW fab to the government with its local industry partner Sio Silica that has proposed a silica extraction and processing facility in Manitoba’s Winnipeg.
Inspired by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of its neighbor, the US, that’s now inundated with PV manufacturing announcements from investors around the world, Canada is also trying to lure solar investors through investment tax credits under Budget 2023 in March this year to support clean technology development in the country (see Canada Comes Out With Its Own ‘IRA’).
While Canada is welcoming solar manufacturing with incentives and regulatory support, Canadian solar panel manufacturer Heliene was recently reported by Reuters as planning to invest $145 million for a new fab in Minnesota, US, with an annual production capacity of 1.5 GW cells and 1 GW of modules.